Which is farther from the equator? Which is farther from the Prime Meridian? Notice that for both locations, both coordinates include 58 or 59 as the measure of minutes. Just as 59 minutes is close to the next hour on a clock, 59 minutes is close to the next degree on the globe. Since both the latitude and longitude are close, this means that both locations are very near a degree confluence, which is what one geographic project calls such locations throughout the world, where the latitude and the longitude are in whole degrees. There is only one such point on land in Massachusetts, with another found in Cape Cod Bay.
The town of Bridgewater has an interesting place in the historical geography of the United States, as it was one of the first examples of western expansion as part of a process eventually associated with Manifest Destiny -- the idea that God had ordained the United States to occupy lands from the Atlantic all the way to the Pacific. The idea was nearly so grandiose in 1649, when Myles Standish met with the Wampanoag chief Massasoit at Sachem Rock to acquire what would eventually be Bridgewater and several other towns. The Plymouth colony had grown beyond its capacity to be sustained near the coast, and therefore expanded westward. The process is described in this fun -- and geographic -- installment of Schoolhouse Rock:
Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's article North Bridgewater -- a.k.a. Brockton provides more details about the origins of the Bridgewaters. It is part of a life-long blogging endeavor he is pursuing with Pamela Hayes-Bohanan, who is a university librarian and a trustee of the Bridgewater Public Library. The blog documents explorations of places all over the United States with the name Bridgewater, and includes a few special items, such as a review of the recent documentary film The Bridgewater Triangle.
Our visit occurs on a Friday the 13th with a full moon, known as a Honey Moon. This is an unusual coincidence that can be expected to occur about once every twenty years. EarthView team member Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's parents actually eloped on a Friday the 13th, but the moon was not full on that July 1962 evening.